"はい"

Translation:Yes

June 5, 2017

97 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/omegafolf

Anyone who's watch anime should know this word on sound alone.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/darkdudxd

If only i could remember how to write it XD


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/1022091010

I highly recommedn you learn how to write it first. There is a particular order of writing each letter. It really helps


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RaeishaGeo1

I found a website that also teaches Japanese and the brush strokes. It's called japanese-lesson.com You can also print out practice sheets for each writing style: hiragana, katakana, and kanji (probably misspelled that last one) but check it out


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ShantelSan2

I came here because I seen the word ashes was also accepted. Also want to learn more about the meaning in the topic vs. Adjective.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Swisidniak

Yep :)
灰 - Ash/ashes is also pronounced "hai"
And 灰色 "haiiro" means "grey" or lit. "Ash-Color"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PERCE_NEIGE

Jiro is a color mark?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JustinDani475027

Why does the ha sound, sound like wa seperate but pronounced with a word sounds like ha. Is this duolingo or how it is supposed to sound


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/neverfox

The pronunciation differs depending on whether it's a particle (wa) or part of a word (ha).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/_AkeLLa_

Very useful remark. But, it is not entirely correct in single use to define は as "ha" ... Or am I mistaken, and here is some more nuance?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CMcC1

I know this means yes but I had this question come up with to yes, one capitalized and one not. I assumed I should have picked both but got it wrong :(


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/.Ice-Cream.

You can pick any yes, it doesn't matter if it's capitalized


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CMcC1

My problem is that it did not make it clear that what I was supposed to do :( I'm new to duolingo. I assumed that we were supposed to select both the capitalized word AND the uncaptilized word, so I ended up getting it wrong.

It would be better if we only saw one instance of the correct choice.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EugeneTiffany

Duolingo teaches through student’s errors. The more mistakes you make the more you will learn. I often make mistakes intentionally so I will be shown tpa problem again. Duolingo will keep giving you a problem until you get it right. I add in a couple of xes to error out on purpose. I always do this whenever I am forced to do a peek. I want to only be credited for a right answer when I genuinely know the answer


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kam-92

Thats smart. I would sometimes do this growing up when I spent a few years in France. I would ask so many questions to fully understand stuff instead of jist moving on.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/.Ice-Cream.

Yeah, I understand. Sometimes duolingo would give you the same answer twice, the difference being one is capitalized. I don't understand why they do it, but you only have to choose one of the two :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nolfinkol

I think the best way to avoid this is remembering that you're translating the sentence, not picking the correct word, so essentially you're telling Duolingo the phrase means "Yes yes". It could be a bit clearer and avoid putting both as options though.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hydra454

I am not sure, but maybe it's because in some languages, like German, it does make a difference.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Diefair

You will come across this regularly on the app; one word capitalized and one not. You will rhen have to read the sentence and see when the double word shows up to know which one is correct. In this instance, since it is a single word as if replying to something, it would be capitalized.

Example: "Yes, it is." vs "It is, yes."

I hope this helps.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/syedyahya11

Why sometimes wa is pronounced as ha


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Andrew-Lin

No, は is usually pronounced as "ha". It only pronounced as "wa" when it is a "topic marker" (don't worry if you don't understand this grammatical topic now). The Hiragana course pronounced it as "wa" but actually this is inappropriate. It should pronounced as "ha."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/pokerguy365

I was wondering if it'd be incorrect to interpret this as "Right". Not in Duolingo, but when speaking with someone.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Anaheim22

Hai mean's 'I'm satisfied', doesn't it? You can use it as yes, but also as no.

"Was the meal to your liking?"
"Hai." (I'm satisfied. i.e. yes)

"Would you like some more?" "Hai." (I'm satisfied. i.e. no)

????


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KeithWong9

It does not mean I am satisfied, but it can mean no.

"Is it not enough?"

"hai" (means no, it is not enough)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Robbadob

I'd say it still kind of means yes there, though: "Yes, it isn't enough." [2019/03/22]


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PERCE_NEIGE

Is it like the "si" in French?

I don't understand when it means" no", is it with negative questions?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KeithWong9

Yes it is like "si" in French. (affirming a negative question)

So はい is used for affirming either a positive or negative question. English "yes" is affirming a positive question but rejecting a negative question.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/englishaussie

I know what 'yes' is in Japanese due to watching TV, but say the world was 'beach' or 'map' id have no idea. So how would i choose the correct word from the list if there's no chance of knowing the translation, even after sounding it out my choice would only be a guess?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CassioHenr934834

When a new word comes up, the tells you what it means


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EugeneTiffany

Right. All new words are in orange. All orange words need to be peeked at. You have to do that. That is how you learn what they mean. And whenever I have to peek I intentionally add a wrong character so I will be shown the problem again.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PERCE_NEIGE

And always make a new vocabulary list in a notebook, to memorize them.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NatalieHelg

When I hear the は character alone, it sounds like "va", but in words it sounds like "ha". Am I hearing it wrong? Is there some quirk behind it that I'm not getting?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JonasHanse310125

It has been explained close to the top comments, but my understanding is that it is normaly supposed to be ha, and only wa when used as a topic marker. So it is a mistake on duolingos part, that it is being pronounced as wa when standing alone. Plz correct me if Im wrong


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Hannah803

Why is this 'yes'? On a different website 'yes' was 'ee' in japanese.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KeithWong9

ええ is a casual form of はい


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KeithWong9

Yes you may say that. I would translate either a yes or yeah for ええ and I think the casualness is somewhere between them. There is another version うん which should match more to yeah though.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Andrew1711

Why does the first syllable "ha" sound like it's saying "wa" when you listen to it separately from the "i" It's rather confusing.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EthanBosse

It’s because it used to be pronounced ha but as a particle it slowly began to sound like wa over a long process of Japanese history it can be confusing at first but just remember it should be remembered as ha but is pronounced as wa most of the time. :) good luck and keep learning man


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Robbadob

Actually, it isn't pronounced as wa most of time. It's only pronounced that way as a particle, which for others is a grammar point taught in a lesson or two. Take a look:

ごはんはたべません。
gohan wa tabemasen.

Here, the first は is pronounced as normal because it's part of a word, while the second は is pronounced wa since it marks the topic. This is easier to see with kanji:

ご飯は食べません。
gohan wa tabemasen.

Here, it's a lot more obvious how to pronounce it since the first は is represented in 飯, while the second は is left to stand alone. Plus, wa has it's own kana わ otherwise, as in 私 (わたし).

And for those who understood my example sentence, I know it's absurd and preposterous as a Japanese phrase :p [2019/03/22]


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rinchamaa

Another way of saying yes in a more casual setting would be うん/un not to be mistaken for うんん which is no.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/cheyann78

It says it translates to "lungs"??


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Swisidniak

Japanese has a very small syllabary and is full of homophones.
In this context best to stick with a simple "yes" translation, but there are many words with this same pronunciation that you would have to determine based on the context they are used in or the kanji they are written with.
肺 "hai" means "lung(s)"
灰 "hai" means "ash"
杯 "hai" means "sake cup"
胚 "hai" means "embryo"
敗 "hai" means "loss/defeat"
牌 "hai" means "medal/shield/badge"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PERCE_NEIGE

Do they play with the sounds and meanings?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/shanard3

Shouldn't it accept yes/ok


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Swisidniak

"yes" and "ok" should and are accepted, Duo's system doesn't consider punctuation in its grading though and "yesok" isn't a word


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PERCE_NEIGE

You have to enter only one word, chose one, never give a choice with a slash.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AnilBharadia

Looks approx. similar to Gujarati word "Ha"(હા), which means 'Yes'.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Vz20ajn9

はい does NOT translate as "yes". Rather, はい is used to express agreement on something used with one of more particles.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PERCE_NEIGE

Agreement on something used with one of more particles? Do you mean agreement with a long sentence statement?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/maia360

That form of yes is actually only used to agree, not simply a general "yes".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PERCE_NEIGE

What would be the other yes not used to agree a statement?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KeithWong9

Replied to a similar question above.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/maia360

You wouldn't say yes otherwise. You only use it in a form when you are saying that you after our confirming something. Such as: "Maria-san wa gakusei desu ka?" (Is Maria a student?) "Hai, gakusei desu." (Yes, Maria is a student)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PorjectKristali

It's best to take notes from what you're learning before even moving on to the next lesson. Each lesson, you can take notes on each word, like how I did! This is my chance to acheive my goal and learn a little bit more of Japanese (because i watch Anime)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/heypano

People who have lived in Japan: Is it true that 「はい」has an alternate use for "here's 2000 yen", when paying someone for goods or services? Like 「はいニ千円です」or something?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SaitamaHer

Какое красивое слово!)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/shkrjab

Like "hi" yes? Привет in russian and english. ))))))


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/G_Papi

Is there slang for yes like yeah?im very casual with speaking and would just like to know


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rinchamaa

I think that'd would be "うん”


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Robbadob

Note that うん is usually pronounced more like "mm", it's just an onomatopoeia for a grunt.

Not to be confused with ううん (mmmm), which means "nah" (no). [2019/03/22]


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/noblebla

My mnemonic: "yeah" (or the german "ja") in backwards! ..... and maybe next time when when talking to a Japanese, one could try saying "ashes" instead of "yes" ... just kidding ;)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/katyatsvelova

I'd like to clarify. This option of consent is a response that is, I'm here, I'm not sleeping, and ええ means consent, (answer to the question) (sorry if there are errors in the text I'm only learning English)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PERCE_NEIGE

Could you explain more please?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KeithWong9

Replied to a similar question above.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/8usc3

I'm confused, why do we pronounce this word like "Hi" (like in "Hi" or "High") when the first letter makes a "ka" sound?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Swisidniak

は is pronounced "ha" (or 'wa' when used as a particle in a sentence)
か is the kana for "ka"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Marcus551635

Can anyone tell me the translation for that first symbol? I try writing everythingdown but I can't find that symbol anywhere in my notes, thank you.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Swisidniak

It's the hiragana "ha"
It can also be used as a topic-marking particle in sentences pronounced "wa" so Duo's automated audio might say it this way when isolated even though it wants you to learn its proper syllabary sound 'ha' instead at this point


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DanSebasti1

I don't understand how it's formed from these 2 characters


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Swisidniak

Hiragana is a syllabary, meaning each kana/symbol stands for a specific syllable/sound. Just like each individual letter of the alphabet stands for a sound, but hold no individual meanings, "Y", "E", and "S" don't mean anything by themselves, they're just letters; but if you combine them you spell the word "Yes" which does have a meaning. は and い are just the sounds "Ha" and "I" but if you combine them they become the word はい "hai" which translates to "yes"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/IsacAndrade

は may sound like "ha" or "wa".. How do you know when it will be "wa" or "ha"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/maia360

It is pronounced as wa when it is used as a particle or at the end of a word.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Iloveyaoilol

How does "wa" and "i" make "hai"?? I'm so confused...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Swisidniak

は is the hiragana for "ha". So "Ha-i"
It is only pronounced "wa" when it is being used as a topic particle.
Since "ha" is usually in part of a word, and "wa" is for a grammar particle by itself, this is the reading Duo's audio defaults to when isolated since that is the most common way it is used. Most words that are "Ha" by themselves use kanji instead

This is also one of the most frequently answered questions on this page

1

This has been answered a few times on this discussion は in/as a word is pronounced as its standard "ha" reading, but when used as a Topic Particle in a sentence it takes on a "wa" reading. Most often you'll see it by itself as the topic particle "wa", but "ha" by itself can also be a word meaning "tooth", "leaf" or "edge". You'll most always see these words in their kanji form however to avoid confusion. Since you'll probably learn the vocab and how its spelled before the kanji though this is good to remember. It has confused many new learners when hovering over parts of a sentence and seeing the word "tooth" show up as a hint where it should actually be the topic marker.

2

は is only wa when it's used as a particle otherwise it's it's normal form which is ha. and wa is わ and these aren't kanji they are hiragana letters。 kanji would be the original chinese letters like these examples 青(blue)日(Sun)月(Moon) Kanjis have meanings hiragana and katakata do not have meanings because they are just letters like in the english alphabet nothing more. hope this clears up your confusion.

3

は has two readings. In/as a word it is pronounced as its standard "ha" reading, but when used as a Topic Particle in a sentence it takes on a "wa" reading. Since this "wa" reading is so commonly used it is the default audio for this character on Duo when it is read by itself since Duo has no way of distinguishing the context a character is being used in. You'll run into a similar situation with the hiragana へ which can be "he" or "e" when used as a particle, and pretty much all kanji you'll learn later has more than one reading as well.

3

It's the hiragana "ha" It can also be used as a topic-marking particle in sentences pronounced "wa" so Duo's automated audio might say it this way when isolated even though it wants you to learn its proper syllabary sound 'ha' instead at this point

4

Actually, it isn't pronounced as wa most of time. It's only pronounced that way as a particle, which for others is a grammar point taught in a lesson or two.
Take a look:
ごはんはたべません。
gohan wa tabemasen.
Here, the first は is pronounced as normal because it's part of a word, while the second は is pronounced wa since it marks the topic. This is easier to see with kanji:
ご飯は食べません。
gohan wa tabemasen.
Here, it's a lot more obvious how to pronounce it since the first は is represented in 飯, while the second は is left to stand alone. Plus, wa has it's own kana わ otherwise, as in 私 (わたし).

5

No, は is usually pronounced as "ha". It only pronounced as "wa" when it is a "topic marker" (don't worry if you don't understand this grammatical topic now). The Hiragana course pronounced it as "wa" but actually this is inappropriate. It should pronounced as "ha."

6

The pronunciation differs depending on whether it's a particle (wa) or part of a word (ha).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/gusko

Type "yea" and it says its incorrect. Is there another word for "yea"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KendallLow2

"Yea" is spelled incorrectly. It should be "yes," and if you meant "yeah," that might be accepted even though it's a little casual and would probably be better suited to うん, which is sort of like "mmhmm."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lorinne18

When someone says that your beautiful and respond "hai" with a bow :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/John209021

How come i never learned the first letter


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Erickson_Zoe

So if い stands for “I” if you add symbols such has い does that change the word or phrase?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KeithWong9

い does not stand for I. It is the transliteration (sound). Just like alphabets, you combine alphabets to make different words.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RuthanneFrench

Okay but, real discussion and not about anime. Why is this pronounced "Hai" but the kanji is pronounced "Wa" and "I" independently? I cant exactly 'sound it out' to guess the word correctly.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rinchamaa

は is only wa when it's used as a particle otherwise it's it's normal form which is ha. and wa is わ and these aren't kanji they are hiragana letters。 kanji would be the original chinese letters like these examples 青(blue)日(Sun)月(Moon) Kanjis have meanings hiragana and katakata do not have meanings because they are just letters like in the english alphabet nothing more. hope this clears up your confusion.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/koreandudeFAM

So it sounds like "wa" alone but becomes "ha" sound when put together with other letters and become a word?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Swisidniak

Yes and no
This has been answered a few times on this discussion
は in/as a word is pronounced as its standard "ha" reading, but when used as a Topic Particle in a sentence it takes on a "wa" reading.
Most often you'll see it by itself as the topic particle "wa", but "ha" by itself can also be a word meaning "tooth", "leaf" or "edge". You'll most always see these words in their kanji form however to avoid confusion. Since you'll probably learn the vocab and how its spelled before the kanji though this is good to remember. It has confused many new learners when hovering over parts of a sentence and seeing the word "tooth" show up as a hint where it should actually be the topic marker.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Darrell_Weaver

This is essentially the last time you'll see this correct and most common way of saying "yes." Later in thd lessons, Duo switches to "ee" for the word yes. Ee is mostly used by women, not men.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KeithWong9

ええ and はい are both unisex and commonly used! The only difference is that ええ is informal and はい is formal.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Infinite1212

Why does it give different pronounciations when you click on the individual characters in the word? Like when you press "ha"it says "wa".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Swisidniak

See the previous comments on this discussion this has been answered many times. は has two readings. In/as a word it is pronounced as its standard "ha" reading, but when used as a Topic Particle in a sentence it takes on a "wa" reading.
Since this "wa" reading is so commonly used it is the default audio for this character on Duo when it is read by itself since Duo has no way of distinguishing the context a character is being used in.
You'll run into a similar situation with the hiragana へ which can be "he" or "e" when used as a particle, and pretty much all kanji you'll learn later has more than one reading as well.

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